15-60-75 - The Inward City (CD)
Release Date: 01/01/01
Years-in-the-making, The Inward City is an album of all new material that was produced by Pere Ubu's David Thomas and is being released on his Hearpen label, with artwork from veteran Cleveland graphic artist John Thompson. For those not familiar with 15-60-75 [usually spoken aloud as The Numbers Band], here's what Allmusic.com had to say about their classic first album 'Jimmy Bell's Still In Town,' which they recently heralded as their 'Album of the Day' (June 12, 2009): 'From the Rolling Stones to the White Stripes, plenty of rock bands have used the blues as a jumping off point and messed with the form to make something new, but hardly anyone pushed the music into a more interesting & innovative direction while staying true to its roots as 15-60-75, a Kent, OH combo known to locals as 'the Numbers Band.' Led by Robert Kidney on lead vocals and guitar and [Chrissie Hynde's brother] Terry Hynde on saxophone, this band never lost touch with the deep hoodoo groove at the heart of the blues, but they pushed & pulled at the sound from all directions, with the rhythm section laying out a steady & propulsive groove, additional percussionists throwing poly-rhythms over the bed, the sax players blowing as if possessed by King Curtis and Ornette Coleman at once, the guitarists exploring the cosmos, & Kidney declaiming like the last great undocumented beat poet. Jimmy Bell's Still in Town, the group's first (and arguably best) album, manages to capture the band in all their shapeshifting glory, & what's most remarkable is how incredibly tight & unified this band is - while this music leaps through any number of hoops, nothing & no one ever gets lost in the shuffle and the musicians perform with an intense focus that's all the more remarkable when you realize this was a live recording, cut in front of an enthusiastic audience at the Agora in Cleveland one evening in 1975. Music this smart & adventurous is rarely as satisfying on a gut level as Jimmy Bell's Still in Town, & this is a razor-sharp fusion of jazz, blues, & rock that kicks like a mule & will let you shake your ass all night long. David Thomas of Pere Ubu, a major fan of & Numbers Band, once called Jimmy Bell's Still in Town 'the only good album ever recorded by anyone,' & while he's clearly exaggerating to make a point, there's no doubt it's a better record than whatever you're listening to right now.' (June 12, 2009, Allmusic.com; review by Mark Deming).